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Macrobiotic Baby Food

Baby Food - Apricots
Apricots, puréed with microplane zester

I’ve been mulling on baby food. At seven months old, Ike has broken out of the rice cereal box. While I love introducing him to table food, I also think there has to be something between unseasoned pur√©es and fully seasoned table food. Something besides Cheerios, that is.

I am sorry, but I guess I sympathize with the babies when they recoil at the taste of plain spinach and peas. Cooked. And pur√©ed. It’s a nice idea, but I can’t help but think, “Yeah buddy, we usually like ours with salt and butter.” I wouldn’t eat it. (I am not even going to bring up pur√©ed meats! Ack!)

Raw¬†(not steamed) vegetables and fruits seem like they should be a typical¬†baby food. Not only do raw foods contain lovely macrobiotic properties, but they taste¬†less bitter than cooked vegetables. The stumbling block is getting the food broken down for baby so they don’t¬†have to “chew” on it. The other week I tried whipping¬†carrots and broccoli through the food processor, but they didn’t get small enough for Ike. He hacked a couple times. Not good.

In the meantime, I found mixing rice cereal with “reserved liquids” worked quite well. Ike pretty much gobbled up everything so far: the tomato-onion water from pico de gallo salsa, the simmering water from aromatic black beans, broth from vegetable soup. These are all a hit with Ike, but still do not reveal the deliciousness of good, clean vegetables. So this raw thing continued to plague me. I mean, I’m cooking and munching on prep scraps, thinking there has to be a way for Ike to enjoy this as well.

I had some ideas tonight… I tried the garlic press… I tried the parmesan grater… Then I tried the microplane zester and SUCCESS! I turned relatively firm fruit into a beautiful pur√©e for Ike. He loved it. Then he got full and cranky and wanted to go to bed. But I kept on… I tried apples, carrots and grapes. And I think the zester is IT.

With fruit, you can just halve the item and grate against the zester down to the skin. For vegetables, you have to be a little more careful with your fingers. Just grate until concern for the well-being of your knuckles outweighs the amount of food left in your fingertips.

Is it weird to say that I am thrilled to introduce “the salad” to my son? I mean, I just love the idea that I can show my infant child the beauty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Call me a nerd. A garden nerd, that is.